Worship of the Valar

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Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:07 am

We now have a photo gallery of our gatherings - website is linked in my sig - and much else new besides, since I last posted here.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:43 am

Well it all seems a bit left field stuff to me Kenelm, but no denying your enthusiasm for this and good on you for organising it all- still not convinced the world needs more religion and not less as you never know in 2000 years people might be getting their limbs chopped off for not accepting their place in the Holy Elvish Caste System (and then topping themselves because they have a mutilation so may as well just end it and go to the Undying Lands and get a spirit body)

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:27 am

It's a terrible indictment on Abrahamic religions that this is the sort of thing that people think of, even in jest, when they think of religion. Those religions seek to disconnect us from nature and control our thoughts and actions. Needless to say, we are part of a wholesale reaction against this, seeking to resanctify the world around us, and to commune with its guardians. It is no accident that the number of people self-identifying as Pagans doubled between the last census and the one before. Just think of the 37,000 people who went to Stonehenge this summer solstice, all following their own spiritual paths.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:49 am

Well most religions start with good intentions- Jesus just wanted people to take account of and help those weaker than themselves and it somehow ended up with the Inquisition, the Crusades and the Republican Party.
Mohammed was a big fan of women- married a widow who owned her own business and only got to talk to God because she financially and emotionally supported him, and it ended up with women wearing full body bags and being stoned to death for not doing what the men tell them too.

Sadly good intentions, and even good ideas are no defence against the insidious nature of religion as a social control tool.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:53 pm

Again, you are confusing religions in general, with the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam, plus a few minor offshoots of them). All of what religions are justly criticised for, are, in fact, perpetrated by the Abrahamic religions. It is a sign of how insidious and all-pervading their influence has been over many centuries, that people find it difficult to think of religions that are not like that. But they are most assuredly not the only way.

And on a minor point, while Jesus certainly proposed some good ideas (most of which, however, were not his, and had, for example, existed in Buddhism long before), he was very much a part of the Apocalyptic Jewish tradition, with its fire, brimstone, judgement and death.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:14 pm

Its not just the Abrahamic religions, heres some other examples-

Mayans- human sacrifice.

Sikhism- "when all efforts to restore peace prove useless and no words avail, lawful is the flash of steel, it is right to draw the sword".

Jainism (on the surface one of the most non-violent religions on the planet, even got laws about not being violent to plants) but states that a soldier who kills in combat is performing a legitimate duty.

Santeria- animal sacrifice.

Zoroastrianism- long history of political manipulation and of physical conquest using force.

The point I am making is that most religions have allowance in them for doing bad shit. Even the most peaceful and those most strict against violence such as Jainism has the potential for a crusade within its religous framework.
The basic premise of religion, any religion, is open to abuse as it offers a means to control the actions of people through a set of rules- a set of rules that have to be taken on 'faith' as no proofs can ever be offered.
This in turn leaves all religion open to wide interpretation- which is how you get the followers of a God who says 'thou shalt not kill' going on a Crusade to mass murder in the name of that God.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:25 pm

Pagan religions have no need of rules, and they offer the means of direct communion with the divine, so no "faith" is involved either. So, again, what you call the "basic premise" of a religion only applies to the Abrahamic religions (and their offshoots and precursors, such as Sikhism and Zoroastrianism - the latter being the single major influence on the development of Judaism). You need to think outside the box, as it were, and totally re-evaluate what you mean by the term religion.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:42 pm

I think you have a misplaced notion of paganism (I was one technically- used to be Wiccan)

Firstly there is no such thing- paganism is a catch all term for a wide range of beliefs and UK paganism was mainly invented by the Victorians.
Actual pagan practices are unknown and lost.
In my part of the world the pagan religion was that of the Druids- about whom we know almost nothing and what we do know comes from their enemies the Romans, who wiped them out- its from the Romans we get told they sacrificed live people in huge wicker statues.

But the little we do know points a creed that emphasised memory and the holding of knowledge and all the everyday practical laws and rules of justice in their heads.
Or in other words- they had a load of rules like every other religion and Druids were judge and jury on them.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:06 pm

Just because something was invented by the Victorians, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

I would also dispute the idea that there is no connection between ancient Paganism and modern Paganism. The family that perform the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, for example, has retained traditional Pagan practices, as have others.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:22 pm

Kenelm wrote:All of what religions are justly criticised for, are, in fact, perpetrated by the Abrahamic religions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Gujarat_riots
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Muslims_in_Burma
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Shinto
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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by bungobaggins on Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:41 pm


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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:45 pm

Just because something was invented by the Victorians, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.- Kenelm

Doesn't mean it does exist either- they also created the modern idea of the seance and that was fake too.

Just because the Horn dance still happens it means nothing about the knowledge of it- they still dance it but no-one knows the significance of it spiritually or religiously, or what its origins were- the same could be said of Morris Dancing for that matter.

Besides its modern- somewhere about the 11th Century- the remains of the pagan culture around me go back to 4000bc. And utterly unknown in terms of what they were doing, thinking, or why.

Its a bit like xmas- just because people celebrate it it doesn't connect them religiously or spiritually to Saturnalia or other some pagan mid-winter festival or make them religious participants in them.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:59 pm

Eldorion wrote:
Kenelm wrote:All of what religions are justly criticised for, are, in fact, perpetrated by the Abrahamic religions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Gujarat_riots
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Muslims_in_Burma
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Shinto

There are always exceptions. We need to look at the general trend.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:06 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Just because something was invented by the Victorians, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.- Kenelm

Doesn't mean it does exist either- they also created the modern idea of the seance and that was fake too.

Just because the Horn dance still happens it means nothing about the knowledge of it- they still dance it but no-one knows the significance of it spiritually or religiously, or what its origins were- the same could be said of Morris Dancing for that matter.

Besides its modern- somewhere about the 11th Century- the remains of the pagan culture around me go back to 4000bc. And utterly unknown in terms of what they were doing, thinking, or why.

Its a bit like xmas- just because people celebrate it it doesn't connect them religiously or spiritually to Saturnalia or other some pagan mid-winter festival or make them religious participants in them.

Just because some seances were fakes, doesn't mean they all were.

I've spoken to members of the Horn Dance family, and they do indeed preserve the traditions. There is also no reason to assume it is as modern as the 11th century.

At Sarehole there are remains of Bronze Age and Neolithic structures, if you wish to talk about ancient remains.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:13 pm

Well the oldest physical evidence with the Horn Dance are the antlers- mostly probably Scandinavian as they are reindeer which were already extinct in the UK and they carbon date to the 11th Century.
Now they might be replacements for an older set of antlers- but we dont know- thats the point- we dont why they did the dance, we dont know which if any deities it was for or to. We dont know what other parts of the ceremonies or rituals might have existed.
Its guess work.

'Just because some seances were fakes, doesn't mean they all were.'

Well since the Victorian era till the present day no one has ever been able to perform one in a scientific setting and prove contact with anything.
First rule of science- an experiment has to be repeatable with the same results. So far seances have been tried many, many times and the repeated result is always the same- no result.

'At Sarehole there are remains of Bronze Age and Neolithic structures, if you wish to talk about ancient remains.'

Im not that far from places like Kilmartin with the UK's most concentrated collection of neolithic monuments and markings- and we know next to nothing about their beliefs, and nothing at all for definite.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:16 pm

Kenelm wrote:There are always exceptions. We need to look at the general trend.

There are many more examples; Petty has already mentioned several of them.  (Let's not forget Aztec human sacrifice either.)  If you adjust for the relative number of believers, the South Asian religions are plenty violent.  You could probably make a stronger case for there being an exception in the case of East Asian religions (with the exception of State Shinto), but that's largely because Chinese folk religion and Shinto outside of the Showa era stretch the typical definition of religion and have a different social role.
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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:41 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Well the oldest physical evidence with the Horn Dance are the antlers- mostly probably Scandinavian as they are reindeer which were already extinct in the UK  and they carbon date to the 11th Century.
Now they might be replacements for an older set of antlers- but we dont know- thats the point- we dont why they did the dance, we dont know which if any deities it was for or to. We dont know what other parts of the ceremonies or rituals might have existed.
Its guess work.

'Just because some seances were fakes, doesn't mean they all were.'

Well since the Victorian era till the present day no one has ever been able to perform one in a scientific setting and prove contact with anything.
First rule of science- an experiment has to be repeatable with the same results. So far seances have been tried many, many times and the repeated result is always the same- no result.

'At Sarehole there are remains of Bronze Age and Neolithic structures, if you wish to talk about ancient remains.'

Im not that far from places like Kilmartin with the UK's most concentrated collection of neolithic monuments and markings- and we know next to nothing about their beliefs, and nothing at all for definite.

I don't see any need to reproduce seances, or similar, in a lab, since I've experienced all kinds of rituals firsthand.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:45 pm

Eldorion wrote:
Kenelm wrote:There are always exceptions. We need to look at the general trend.

There are many more examples; Petty has already mentioned several of them.  (Let's not forget Aztec human sacrifice either.)  If you adjust for the relative number of believers, the South Asian religions are plenty violent.  You could probably make a stronger case for there being an exception in the case of East Asian religions (with the exception of State Shinto), but that's largely because Chinese folk religion and Shinto outside of the Showa era stretch the typical definition of religion and have a different social role.

There is no organised and systematic slaughter of non-believers as there is in the Abrahamic religions, which make it a religious duty.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by bungobaggins on Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:11 pm

"Just because some seances were fakes, doesn't mean they all were."

I can be open minded about a lot of things, and I can respect different lifestyles, but there's a definite line for me. Seances were party games for the not-so-intelligent upper middle class. Anyone who can't recognize the parlor tricks involved has got to have more than just a screw loose. Gather a bunch of gullible people in one room and they'll believe anything. Not to mention the reasoning in the above sentence makes me fume.

Not to mention the fact that I don't believe that the Prof would have approved of worshiping the Valar.
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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:27 pm

bungobaggins wrote:"Just because some seances were fakes, doesn't mean they all were."

I can be open minded about a lot of things, and I can respect different lifestyles, but there's a definite line for me. Seances were party games for the not-so-intelligent upper middle class. Anyone who can't recognize the parlor tricks involved has got to have more than just a screw loose. Gather a bunch of gullible people in one room and they'll believe anything. Not to mention the reasoning in the above sentence makes me fume.

Not to mention the fact that I don't believe that the Prof would have approved of worshiping the Valar.

Since I've been in rituals that do indeed work, I'm prepared to cut seances a bit more slack, while recognising that a lot of showmanship was involved. I wonder if those who criticise them so vociferously could say the same.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:49 pm

Since I've been in rituals that do indeed work- Kenelm

I would dispute that rituals work, at least in the sense you see to imply.

For the record in my time I have taken part in seances, I have performed dedication rituals to deities, I have conducted group and personal circle magic- I can draw a rune with the best of them and invoke spirits and goddesses.
I still have my original hand picked and hand made wand and athame.

I am no stranger to being lured by the apparent effects of ritual.

But ritual is just people making noises and moving about a bit- that doesn't produce any results. Ritual is just activity to displace the mind.
The psychological effects of ritual however can produce results, just as a placebo drug can produce genuine results.

But when you confuse ritual with outcome you enter into dangerous territory that tends to end on top of a pyramid ripping someones heart out because of the belief if only you can find the right ritual it will all come good.

I am not trying to belittle your views or discount them Kenelm, its just Ive already walked down this particular road long ago.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:01 pm

Did you actually read the links I posted on the last page, Kenelm? Your continuing disingenuous-ness and rrefusal to engage in honest debate grows tiresome.
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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:21 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Since I've been in rituals that do indeed work- Kenelm

I would dispute that rituals work, at least in the sense you see to imply.

For the record in my time I have taken part in seances, I have performed dedication rituals to deities, I have conducted group and personal circle magic- I can draw a rune with the best of them and invoke spirits and goddesses.
I still have my original hand picked and hand made wand and athame.

I am no stranger to being lured by the apparent effects of ritual.

But ritual is just people making noises and moving about a bit- that doesn't produce any results. Ritual is just activity to displace the mind.
The psychological effects of ritual however can produce results, just as a placebo drug can produce genuine results.

But when you confuse ritual with outcome you enter into dangerous territory that tends to end on top of a pyramid ripping someones heart out because of the belief if only you can find the right ritual it will all come good.

I am not trying to belittle your views or discount them Kenelm, its just Ive already walked down this particular road long ago.

I can only suggest, then, that you weren't involved in the right rituals - that is, ones that work. You said Wicca, I believe. That's where most people start, too.

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:24 pm

Eldorion wrote:Did you actually read the links I posted on the last page, Kenelm? Your continuing disingenuous-ness and rrefusal to engage in honest debate grows tiresome.

Can you summarise them? I thought, indeed, that you already had. My response was that there are always exceptions to the general trend. I shall not respond, incidentally, to any further ad hom arguments.


Last edited by Kenelm on Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Worship of the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:43 pm

that you weren't involved in the right rituals - that is, ones that work- Kenelm

Or the premise is flawed.

And my experience is not limited to Wiccan either- that was just a stop along the route.
I have been through a lot of different ways from masonic ritual, Casteneda (from where my online username is derived) to Crowley (whose Magick in Theory and Practise still adorns my bookshelf).

I have also studied for decades now a variety of religious and spiritual practices from all over the world.

So perhaps you can enlighten me as to what these mysterious rituals are that uniquely work?

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